Inhibitory control and the speech patterns of second language users

Korko, Malgorzata and Williams, Simon A (2017) Inhibitory control and the speech patterns of second language users. British Journal of Psychology, 108 (1). pp. 43-72. ISSN 2044-8295

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Inhibitory control (IC), an ability to suppress irrelevant and/or conflicting information, has been found to underlie performance on a variety of cognitive tasks, including bilingual language processing. This study examines the relationship between inhibitory control and the speech patterns of second language (L2) users from the perspective of individual differences. While the majority of studies have supported the role of IC in bilingual language processing using single word production paradigms, this work looks at inhibitory processes in the context of extended speech, with a particular emphasis on disfluencies. We hypothesised that the speech of individuals with poorer IC would be characterised by reduced fluency. A series of regression analyses, in which we controlled for age and L2 proficiency, revealed that IC (in terms of accuracy on the Stroop task) could reliably predict the occurrence of reformulations and the frequency and duration of silent pauses in L2 speech. No statistically significant relationship was found between IC and other L2 spoken output measures, such as repetitions, filled pauses, and performance errors. Conclusions focus on IC as one out of a number of cognitive functions in the service of spoken language production. A more qualitative approach towards the question of whether L2 speakers rely on IC is advocated.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: inhibitory control; second language; speech production; fluency; disfluency
Schools and Departments: School of English > Sussex Centre for Language Studies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0180 Experimental psychology
Depositing User: Simon Williams
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 11:15
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 07:19

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